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ORNL's Communications team works with news media seeking information about the laboratory. Media may use the resources listed below or send questions to news@ornl.gov.

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Argon pellet injection text

As scientists study approaches to best sustain a fusion reactor, a team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory investigated injecting shattered argon pellets into a super-hot plasma, when needed, to protect the reactor’s interior wall from high-energy runaway electrons.

The students analyzed diatom images like this one to compare wild and genetically modified strains of these organisms. Credit: Alison Pawlicki/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, US Department of Energy.

Students often participate in internships and receive formal training in their chosen career fields during college, but some pursue professional development opportunities even earlier.

Layering on the strength

A team including Oak Ridge National Laboratory and University of Tennessee researchers demonstrated a novel 3D printing approach called Z-pinning that can increase the material’s strength and toughness by more than three and a half times compared to conventional additive manufacturing processes.

Isabelle Snyder standing in front of screen dislaying national map of US power grids

Isabelle Snyder calls faults as she sees them, whether it’s modeling operations for the nation’s power grid or officiating at the US Open Tennis Championships.

Heat impact map

A detailed study by Oak Ridge National Laboratory estimated how much more—or less—energy United States residents might consume by 2050 relative to predicted shifts in seasonal weather patterns 

Desalination process

A new method developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory improves the energy efficiency of a desalination process known as solar-thermal evaporation. 

Batteries—Polymers that bind

A team of researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have demonstrated that designed synthetic polymers can serve as a high-performance binding material for next-generation lithium-ion batteries.

The illustrations show how the correlation between lattice distortion and proton binding energy in a material affects proton conduction in different environments. Mitigating this interaction could help researchers improve the ionic conductivity of solid materials.

Ionic conduction involves the movement of ions from one location to another inside a material. The ions travel through point defects, which are irregularities in the otherwise consistent arrangement of atoms known as the crystal lattice. This sometimes sluggish process can limit the performance and efficiency of fuel cells, batteries, and other energy storage technologies.

Low-cost, compact, printed sensor that can collect and transmit data on electrical appliances for better load monitoring

Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a low-cost, printed, flexible sensor that can wrap around power cables to precisely monitor electrical loads from household appliances to support grid operations.

 

Laminations such as these are compiled to form the core of modern electric vehicle motors. ORNL has developed a software toolkit to speed the development of new motor designs and to improve the accuracy of their real-world performance.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists have created open source software that scales up analysis of motor designs to run on the fastest computers available, including those accessible to outside users at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility.